In focusing on Genesis 37 today verses 5 – 11 has challenged me to ask The Lord to show me how to share truthfully and boldly the things He has taught me, but also how to be sensitive to my hearers, so that I don’t needlessly antagonise the very people who most need to hear the truth that I have to share about Him.
I also found verse 11 a prompt to pray! “But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.” This is a time to ask God to make us receptive to the prophetic word you hear from those He sends to teach us. Pray for wisdom and discernment to recognise teaching from God as opposed to false teaching.
I found it quite something when I read verse 21 “But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said.” Then verse 22 tells us what Reuben was thinking, “22 “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.”
Look at his reaction in verse 29-30
“29 Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief. 30 Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, “The boy is gone! What will I do now?”
This then made me focus for the first time on Reuben what was it about him that made him identify with the grief and sorrow that Joseph would encounter.
It has never crossed my mind before, but suddenly I thought of his mother at his birth and the words she had spoken over him, Genesis 29:32 “So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”
Reuben means “Look, a son!” It also sounds like the Hebrew for “He has seen my misery.”
I sense so strongly that at this time we should join in prayer for peace rather than rivalry among family members. Pray that God will soften our hearts so that we will regard each other with love and compassion, helping and lifting rather than destroying each other because of our own desires for power and position. May we not leave it to late because of compromise like Reuben by just going for a partial rescue! I declare all out war for deliverance for our lost loved ones.
Genesis 37:33-35 Calls for intercession for those who have lost a child to illness or accident. Pray that they will experience peace that goes beyond human understanding and joy in knowing God despite their loss.